“Jupiter Ascending” – A Glorious New Frontier Of Silly & Dumb

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There is no other movie like Jupiter Ascending. Don’t get me wrong, the latest ambitious original intellectual property (IP) from the Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas, The Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer) is an imaginative and goofy epic space opera with  ideas and concepts never done before.  With a seemingly bottomless budget and decades (possibly eons) of sci-fi concept art and clear influences from Japanese comics and animation, these ambitious auteur have created not only the craziest, biggest and most visionary sci-fi/fantasy blockbusters of our time…they may have also made one of the dumbest and messiest movies to ever clunk its way to the big screen. In some ways I was reminded of the sheer absurd and trashy joy I felt last year when I saw Luc Besson’s Lucy but I feel that may be underselling it. By no means is Jupiter Ascending a “good” movie let alone a “smart” movie (though it’s clear even in this film the Wachowski siblings may be two of the most intelligent and ambitious mainstream filmmakers out there) but it is endlessly entertaining both in intentional ways and unintentional ways (just as many “so bad-it’s good” moments as there are respectable moments of filmmaking craft) that it practically defies traditional qualification. It’s unfortunate that this film seems destined to fall at the box office (it’s being taken down from screens pretty fast) because if I had the choice between seeing competent-yet-unimaginative and repetitive blockbuster fare (such as the Marvel superhero films) versus endlessly imaginative and wildly ambitious yet weirdly incompetent failures like this, I’d choose the latter every time. Even if this film is for all intents and purposes “terribad,” it’s also one of those rare times I saw a movie and truly felt there were endless possibilities as to what can be imagined and brought to life on screen.

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